2011 Audi TTS
2011 Audi TTS. Click image to enlarge

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By Paul Williams; photos by Chris Chase

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2011 Audi TT

Back in 2000, the introduction of the Audi TT was something of a revelation. The car absolutely was the darling of automotive media around the world, and accolades for its striking design (both exterior and interior) were legion.

But conventional wisdom at the time suggested that the TT design would be its undoing. “After all, where do you go from here?” was the typical question, viewing the TT as a vehicle with nowhere to go in terms of its appearance. Basically, the car was seen by most as, “perfect the way it is,” and some even conjectured that after a run of four-to-five years, the TT would be history.

Happily, the TT lives on, unfettered by its cool original looks. On the contrary, it turns out that conventional wisdom under-estimated Audi, and all you have to do is check out the 2011 TT to see what I mean. The car still turns heads, just as it did a decade ago.

2011 Audi TTS
2011 Audi TTS
2011 Audi TTS. Click image to enlarge

We drove a 2011 Audi TTS, which is an uprated and more powerful version of the standard car. Starting at $57,900 and powered with a four-cylinder, direct-injected and turbocharged engine, the TTS makes 265-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which it puts to the ground through Audi’s celebrated quattro all-wheel drive system.

Standard transmission is a six-speed DSG dual-clutch “S-tronic,” activated via paddles on the steering column. The transmission also operates conventionally as an automatic; put it in “Drive” and go.

The TTS arrives pretty much “loaded” with desirable equipment, including 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon and LED lighting, a no-extra-charge choice of leather interiors, aluminum trim, keyless entry and start, the full range of electronic safety assists and a racing-style steering wheel. Options include 19-inch wheels, full-colour navigation system with premium audio and special exterior paint (which is anything except white or orange), all of which our black tester possessed, bringing its price to $62,450.

This year the TTS receives some important upgrades, starting with a revised magnetic ride system with, Audi says, a clearer distinction between normal and sport modes. The system — which is based on magnetic properties of the damping fluid — continuously adjusts to the road surface, and provides the ability to switch between a compliant ride for normal driving and a performance-oriented ride that emphasizes the TTS’s sharp handling.

Other changes include a new grille and fog light surround, and polished black interior surfaces with additional aluminum trim.

Design aside, handling and performance are what the TTS is all about. With a reported acceleration time of 5.2 seconds from 0 to100 km/h, and a confident feeling of stability on all road surfaces, the TTS offers brilliant dynamics for the driving enthusiast.

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